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Initial plans for township park, recreation and community center begin to take shape


Predicting revenue and expenses for Doylestown Township’s proposed Park, Recreation and Community Center is a difficult task, but township officials compiled some estimates for last Tuesday night’s board of supervisors meeting.

The figures were part of a presentation given by park board member John Bray and Brenda Bray, chairman of the township’s ways and means committee.

The presentation preceded a public comment period during the supervisors’ regular meeting at the Township Administration Building.

According to Brenda Bray, “revenues are very hard to predict” until it is clearer what services will be offered at the facility.

With the need for expanded maintenance and operation space and the construction of the new township building, park and rec lost its old indoor activity space above the maintenance garage.

The township planned to build a new, separate recreation building but the cost was too high for space it would gain, mostly due to site work.

The new community building will have room for all of the activities in its original indoor space plus more space for the inclusion of a full size court with possible pullout bleachers and room dividers.

It is planned to be located at the back of Central Park on New Britain Road. User fees for classes and rentals of the facility plus tax dollars and partners, sponsors and donors could be considered. An indoor facility would offer residents the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities, classes, sports and special events.

Last September, a meeting was held to determine what residents would want to see or not see in a recreation center. Township planner Judy Stern Goldstein of Boucher & James Inc., facilitated the meeting.

She reported that there is an appetite in the community for more indoor recreational space. Residents would like to see children’s activities, classes for the neighborhood’s large senior population, gyms and basketball courts.

A potential indoor recreation facility could also include amenities for all ages. Many questions still need to be answered before a potential facility can be built, however.

“Our new community building is going to have enough room for all of the programs that we originally had plus more,” John Bray said.

“Park and rec revenue will be enhanced, but it is going to take a while for the additional park programs to come on board,” Brenda Bray added.

She presented the supervisors with possible revenue numbers. She informed the board that the members of the ways and means committee researched revenue and expenses of other municipalities and facilities to come up with the figures

Gymnasium space can be rented to outside groups at a rental rate of $100 an hour. The new facility would enable the township to provide an enhanced summer program operated by the township for 10 weeks. It was estimated that the summer program could yield $64,000 at 50 percent cost, Brenda Bray said.

Other areas that could bring in revenue include annual naming rights and advertising inside the gym. The committee made the assumption that 10 banners at a cost of $250 annually could be factored into the revenue projections.

Bray then went over expenditures.

She indicated that the cost projections are incremental to already existing park and rec expenditures. The new facility would need site supervision during the rental time plus a helf hour before and after rental time. The committee took into account for FICA, and other expenses associated with employee costs, marketing costs (estimated at $40K for year 1 and $10K for year 2) as well as utility costs and a contingency. In addition, in year 3 the committee estimated that a part-time position would be needed as well.

Brenda Bray indicated that although there is a slight loss of $20K in year 1 an operating profit is anticipated in years 2 and 3. A pro forma millage increase is anticipated.

Supervisors made a motion which carried unanimously to have the parks and recreation board confirm the size of the project, have the ways and means committee look into long-term financing options and have the staff prepare requests for proposals for a design company to design the facility.